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Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No. 68 of 2008)

Chapter 2 : Fundamental Consumer Rights

Part C : Consumer's right to choose

20. Consumer’s right to return goods



1) This section is in addition to and not in substitution for—
a) the right to return unsafe or defective goods, contemplated in section 56; or
b) any other right in law between a supplier and consumer to return goods and receive a refund.


2) Subject to subsections (3) to (6), the consumer may return goods to the supplier, and receive a full refund of any consideration paid for those goods, if the supplier has delivered—
a) goods to the consumer in terms of an agreement arising out of direct marketing, and the consumer has rescinded that agreement during the cooling off period, in accordance with section 16;
b) goods that the consumer did not have an opportunity to examine before delivery, and the consumer has rejected delivery of those goods for any of the reasons contemplated in section 19(5);
c) a mixture of goods, and the consumer has refused delivery of any of those goods, as contemplated in section 19(8); or
d) goods intended to satisfy a particular purpose communicated to the supplier as contemplated in section 55(3), and within 10 business days after delivery to the consumer, the goods have been found to be unsuitable for that particular purpose.


3) Subsection (2) does not apply with respect to any goods if—
a) for reasons of public health or otherwise, a public regulation prohibits the return of those goods to a supplier once they have been supplied to, or at the direction of, a consumer; or
b) after having been supplied to, or at the direction of, the consumer, the goods have been partially or entirely disassembled, physically altered, permanently installed, affixed, attached, joined or added to, blended or combined with, or embedded within, other goods or property.


4) Goods returnable in terms of—
a) subsection (2)(a) must be returned to the supplier at the consumer’s risk and expense; or
b) subsection (2)(b) to (d) must be returned to the supplier at the supplier’s risk and expense,

within 10 business days after delivery to the consumer.


5) Upon return of any goods in terms of this section, the supplier must refund to the consumer the price paid for the goods, less any amount that may be charged in terms of subsection (6).


6) In determining the right of a supplier to impose a charge contemplated in subsection (5), if any goods returned to the supplier in terms of this section are—
a) in the original unopened packaging, the supplier may not charge the consumer any amount in respect of the goods;
b) in their original condition and repackaged in their original packaging, the supplier may charge the consumer a reasonable amount for—
i) use of the goods during the time they were in the consumer’s possession, unless they are goods that are ordinarily consumed or depleted by use, and no such consumption or depletion has occurred; or
ii) any consumption or depletion of the goods, unless that consumption or depletion is limited to a reasonable amount necessary to determine whether the goods were acceptable to the consumer; or
c) in any other case, the supplier may charge the consumer a reasonable amount—
i) as contemplated in paragraph (b); and
ii) for necessary restoration costs to render the goods fit for re-stocking, unless, having regard to the nature of the goods, and the manner in which they were packaged, it was necessary for the consumer to destroy the packaging in order to determine whether the goods—
aa) conformed to the description or sample provided, in the case of goods that had not been examined by the consumer before delivery, as contemplated in subsection (2)(b); or
bb) were fit for the intended purpose, in a case contemplated in subsection (2)(d).